How Do You Feel About Sharing Cabs?

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Well, when you put it this way, who wouldn’t want to share a cab? Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, Patrick McMullan

One day many hundreds of years ago, when Intel Chris was a mere single twink with barely one ribbon belt to his name, he arrived at Newark Airport in the wee hours of the morning. Since the prospect of waiting for the train and arriving at Penn Station even nearer to dawn was not very appealing to him, he got in the cab line. As he walked up, a lone taxi pulled around, and a gentleman with a monogrammed “T” Anthony travel case leaped into it. Chris reached the cab a moment afterward and was about to turn away, dejected, because there were no other cabs in sight. But then a tired, cigarette-sexy voice came from behind him. “You going to Manhattan?” the gentleman asked. “You want to share?” Chris looked back at the empty platform and then into the man’s deep-blue eyes, framed by carefully disheveled black hair held casually in place (by American Crew Forming Cream, he guessed). Without hesitation, Chris launched into the car, dragging his embarrassing L.L. Bean duffel after him. “Hi!” he said. The gentleman smiled and shook his hand. Firmly.

As Chris closed the door, the cab driver growled through the Plexiglas divider: “Do you have a ticket?” The other man held up the voucher the taxi stand manager had given him, marked “Manhattan.” “Do I need one?” Chris asked. The driver grunted and put the cab into park. The gentleman with the piercing blue eyes, who was, Chris noted, wearing a Hollister seagull shirt under a slim Lacoste zip-up, shrugged. So Chris took his bag and got out of the car for a moment to run over to the taxi booth. When he was halfway there, he heard a squeal of tires. The driver clearly hadn’t wanted two Manhattan drop-offs, so he had bolted, causing the passenger door to swing shut from momentum. The boy with the blue eyes looked helplessly out the window as he trailed away. Chris imagined that the boy had been wearing John Varvatos for Men, his favorite scent, and sighed. Then he waited twenty minutes for the next cab. Alone.

Now, in his dream scenario, Chris would have stayed in the cab with Blue Eyes, and even though they wouldn’t have talked much, each of their hands would have fallen listlessly to the cab seat. As the cab bobbed and bounded toward Manhattan, their hands would drift casually-on-purpose nearer and nearer to one another, until the brief but electric contact between them would have been the only thing that existed in the cab. This would shortly be followed by a brief, surprising kiss as Blue Eyes got out of the cab — and left behind his card. That in turn would have been followed by a short engagement period, a marriage on Montauk, and a long, happy Double Income, No Kids life.

Of course, this is probably not what would have happened. In reality, Chris would have fallen asleep in that horrible way one does where your head collapses back on the headrest, your mouth hangs open, and your Adam’s apple sticks out at a right angle. Every once in a while, he would twitch in his sleep, irritating his fellow passenger so much that he’d eventually consider suffocating Chris with his Jack Spade carry-on. When it came time for Blue Eyes to get out, he would stiff Chris on the tip and leave a warm, airplane-egg-breakfast smell behind.

But STILL, there’s something romantic about sharing cabs, right? It was kind of fun during the transit strike to stuff into taxis with strangers, even though it was absurdly inefficient and expensive. And now the city has announced a new plan to have up to 1,000 “share cabs” with LED lighting outside, indicating where they are going and how to hop on and share a ride for a deeply discounted price. What do you guys think? Are you onboard with the cab-sharing plan?

TAXI-SHARE PLAN FOR EA$Y RIDERS [NYP]